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Bad Bat and the Whip-poor-will

(learning: w, wh and wr sounds. Also, see below for notes on the whip-poor-will and a place to hear its call.)

One night, Camilla sat down on the floor in her room to write a story. Before she had even written a word, she saw a bird fly past her window … or was it Bad Bat?

Just then Molly came in.

Molly said, “I think our friend Bad Bat is back.”

Camilla thought Molly was wrong. She said, “I think it was a bird.”

Molly said, “Not many birds fly at night.”

“Owls do,” said Camilla.

“True,” agreed Molly, “but this was not as big as an owl.”

They looked out the window and, there, on the tire wheel swing, sat a whip-poor-will.

The whip-poor-will had a white ring around its neck and white feathers on its tail.

“Shh,” said Molly. “Listen!”

They waited for a long while, and soon they heard the whip-poor-will sing.

“Whip-poor-will … whip-poor-will … whip-poor-will,” said the whip-poor-will.

“Camilla … Camilla … Camilla,” said Camilla.

“Bad Bat. Bad Bat,” said Molly.

Camilla said to Molly, “You are not Bad Bat!”

“No,” said Molly. “There is Bad Bat.”

Where?” asked Camilla.

Bad Bat flew past the whip-poor-will.

Suddenly, the whip-poor-will flew into the air and chased after Bad Bat!

“Do whip-poor-will eat bats?” Camilla asked Molly.

“I think they eat moths,” said Molly.

Camilla went to the window and yelled, “Whip-poor-will! Bad Bat is a bat, not a moth!”

Just when it looked like the whip-poor-will was about to catch Bad Bat, the whip-poor-will flew wide and caught a white moth. The whip-poor-will ate the whole moth in one bite.

Then the whip-poor-will flew away.

“Phew,” said Molly. “I do not think I ever felt bad for Bad Bat before.”

Camilla said, “I feel more bad for the white moth.”

The End.

About the Whip-poor-will

The whip-poor-will, named for its distinctive call (which sounds like “whip-poor-will”) is a mottled grayish-brown bird with a long rounded tail and rounded wings. The males have black throats and a white necklace. They also have white outer tail feathers. The females have a thinner necklace and lack the white on the tail.

Like the owl, the whip-poor-will is a night hunter. But while an owl hunts primarily by sound, the large-eyed whip-poor-will hunts by sight.

[Editor’s note: The whip-poor-will in this story is a male.]

drawings of whip-poor-wills

*You can hear the whip-poor-will’s call at

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